Is your online business scaling up?
Are you ready to take it to the big time and truly embrace an ecommerce platform that caters to all of your individual business needs?
Enter SIDE Commerce: A brilliant platform made for the juggernaut online stores of the world (or those that wish to eventually get to that point.)
This company takes a different approach to helping you launch and nurture your online business. It all starts with the fact that they are more of an all-in-one site building service, walking you through the design process and taking requests for features specific to your company.
The backend actually looks similar to that of Shopify or WordPress, so it's easy enough to move around. But you'll notice an onslaught of native features you can't find anywhere else. Oh yea, and if you need a custom tool, just tell the folks at SIDE Commerce and they'll make it for you.
It's an intriguing company to work with, so we wanted to take a deep look into the backend and frontend to understand exactly who can benefit from the system.
SIDE Commerce Pricing Options
The SIDE Commerce platform isn't cheap, but you certainly get what you pay for. Those looking to test the waters for their prototype and only spend $10 per month are not going to find what they need here. Startups who think a free WIX site is going to do the trick don't need the power that SIDE Commerce has to offer.
SIDE Commerce works for the powerhouse companies that want to take analytics, expert advice and stunning designs to their customers.
So how much does this cost? You must first choose between a Business or Enterprise License:
Business License – $995 per month.
Enterprise License – $1,495 per month. The primary difference between the two plans is that the Enterprise option has an incredible enterprise resource planning integration that we'll cover a bit in the features below.
Next, hosting is a requirement to keep your site running efficiently at all times:
Hosting – Starting at $495 per month. The hosting solution uses auto-scale server architecture to ensure your site remains up during all peak times.
Since SIDE Commerce offers assistance for the implementation of your ecommerce site, a one-time implementation fee is required, but this pricing all depends on the scope of your project.
In addition, you may want to pay for some of the many other services from SIDE Commerce (each of them have varying costs depending on how much work is required.) For example, some companies need tons of work done on the site design, while others may only need $100 worth.
View the extra services below:
- Site design
- Marketing services
- Ongoing SEO and SEM
- Adwords and PPC
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Pretty much anything else you ask for
Which Features Standout on SIDE Commerce?
SIDE Commerce doesn't have an app or theme store. Why is this the case? Because they have a commitment to native, built-in features that are designed to fuel growth. In fact, they are known for creating settings, designs and features just for individual clients, while requests from multiple clients are often implemented into the entire system.
So, what are some of the features that really make SIDE Commerce worth it for you?
Drag and Drop Everything
The web design world is seeing a growing trend of drag and drop editors. Some of them are great, but many stink. Most platforms have drag and drop functionality for the homepage and that's about it. However, with SIDE Commerce you can drag elements all over the backend. For example, if you'd like to organize your related products, simply move them around with your mouse. The same goes for organizing other lists such as your promotions.
Abandoned Cart Messaging and Email Marketing
Boosting your margins means taking advantage of those who abandon their shopping carts. There's money to be made, but you obviously don't have the time to contact these people manually. Therefore, SIDE Commerce includes a wonderful abandoned cart messaging engine with scheduling involved. Incorporate a promotion if you want, and schedule how long the system should wait to send after a customer has abandoned their cart.
Not to mention, your site can integrate with MailChimp for collecting emails and sending out professional looking newsletters.
Blogging isn't always provided with ecommerce platforms, but SIDE Commerce offers a simple backend interface for designing blog posts with galleries, images and even related products listed towards the end of the post.
An Incredible Product Referral and Ratings Engine
Here's our favorite part of the SIDE Commerce system. It's all about generating buzz about your products, while also suggesting items that customers might be interested in. The shot below reveals how you can quickly drag around related items to go underneath a product page.
Also, SIDE Commerce has built a user ratings and review module that looks like a comment box on the product page. What's awesome is that they made it so that people can vote on which reviews and ratings are most useful. This isn't an attempt to get rid of bad reviews, but a way to guide potential customers to the most useful reviews.
As you can see on one of the Incase ratings and reviews list (towards the bottom of the page,) the module works like Reddit, where the community decides which of the reviews are worthy of being at the top of the list.
This also helps with deciding on which of your products are worth keeping around.
Unique Feature Designs for Clients
If all of the native features aren't cutting it, you can call up SIDE Commerce and request a unique feature just for your business.
As an example, olloclip requested a user generated gallery where their customers can submit their own images.
More Reporting Than You Can Imagine
From carts with emails to top 20 customer lists, the reports may seem overwhelming at first, but they're well organized and ready for you to utilize for your advantage. Some of the other reports include:
- Product registrations
- Registered products
- Customer service offers
- Product inventory
- Abandoned cart emails
- Shipment overview
- Live carts
A Single CMS with Multi-Currency, Multi-Region and Multi-Language Capabilities
If you're looking to sell to other countries with varying currencies and languages, SIDE Commerce allows for a module at the top of the site for people to select which region they live in. If you take a look at the image above, I selected Japan, so all of the text changes, and the currency comes up in Yen.
Dynamic Promotions and Gift Cards
The Vissla gift cards page is a solid example of how to sell digital gift cards to your customers. People select the monetary amount, a design, who it's for and then an email is sent for the recipient to use on your website.
Unlimited promotions are also available for customization. We like that one-time promotions codes are possible for passing out at events if needed.
SIDE Commerce Support
We often talk about solutions like Shopify and Bigcommerce on this site, and when the question of customer support comes up, we generally take a look at knowledge bases, live chat modules and if they're willing to take calls on a 24/7 basis.
SIDE Commerce is completely different, since a huge part of what you pay for is expert attention and an almost personal connection with the people who run your site.
You'll immediately notice how stunning some of the SIDE Commerce client sites look, and that's because you are paying for a completely customized site. From SEO to conversion rate optimization, the services are rather impressive from this platform, and they're always a phone call away when a problem or question comes up.
What Companies and Individuals Should be Using SIDE Commerce?
The community builds the features you see on the SIDE Commerce software, so if your business is expecting growth in the near future, SIDE Commerce is certainly worth checking out. It's pricier than other solutions, but it's almost as if you're hiring a team to work for your company. Web design, SEO, marketing and customer support experts are there to help you out, so the investment will pay for itself.
You become part of the SIDE Commerce community when signing up, and you're not treated like a ticket number when looking for support. Even though the native features should serve you well, the concept of custom built features for individual clients is too hard to pass up.
That said, click here to request a SIDE Commerce demo, and drop a line in the comments section below if you have any questions.